How to make poinsettias?

I love having poinsettias around during the winter season. And there are so many fun colors – red, pink, white, cream, variegated, apricot, and more. In fact, there are more than 100 varieties of poinsettias! I tend to stick to the traditional red, but depending on your Christmas decor, you could really go crazy.

The only bummer about poinsettias is that they tend to lose their “blooms” after 4-6 weeks. So, I did a little experiment to see if I could get my poinsettias to turn red again. I love in-home gardening projects in the winter when the ground is frozen, so let’s figure out how to turn a poinsettia red.

Why is My Poinsettia Not Turning Red?

One of the interesting things about poinsettias is that the color is actually in modified leaves called bracts, not the flowers. The flowers are itty-bitty things in the middle. The leaves turn red in response to the plant forming flowers. The red leaves attract pollinators to the tiny, yellow flowers. Once the flowers are gone, the leaf bracts fall off. Eventually, the green leaves fall, too.

If you want your poinsettia to turn red again, you have to force it. The bracts on the poinsettia plant need a little help to return to their original red color year after year.

How Do You Force a Poinsettia To Turn Red?

Wondering how to get a poinsettia to “rebloom?” It’s not the easiest process, and poinsettias need to be babied a bit. I followed these tips to get my poinsettia to turn red again and to keep it healthy for years to come (I hope!).

Poinsettias make great gifts for gardeners or anyone who likes live plants as part of their Christmas decorations. You can even get Christmas plants online now!

How Do You Keep a Poinsettia From Year to Year?

Every year I get a couple poinsettias for decorations. Last year, I decided to try to keep them alive all year so I’d have them ready for the next holiday season. After a little research, here’s what I discovered.

  • Keep the plant in bright light, but not in direct sunlight, for at least 8 hours a day.
  • Keep the plant in a warm room where the temperature never gets below 50 degrees F. 60-70F is ideal.
  • Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, but don’t wait so long that the leaves wilt.
  • Feed with a water soluble plant foodonce a month EXCEPT during the months the plant is in bloom.
  • Blooms can last for months on the plant, but they will eventually fall off. So will the plant leaves. This is the time to prune it. Cut all stems back to six inches and continue routine plant care. New leaves will emerge. That new growth is next winter’s poinsettia.

How To Get a Poinsettia To Turn Red

After keeping my poinsettias alive for a year (yay!) it was time to turn them red again. Here’s how I did it.

  • Help your poinsettia to turn red by placing it in total darkness for 14 hours each day, starting eight weeks before you want to display it.
  • During the day, the plant needs bright light, but it should be placed in complete darkness every evening. (You can keep it in the same place as your mushroom log!)
  • Even the light from a small night light or street light shining through a window can disrupt the process of turning a poinsettia red again.
  • The plant will need a little extra humidity during this stage. Remember, it is from southern Mexico! An ideal way to get the poinsettia to turn red is to place it in a closet every evening (one that is never opened) along with a bowl of water. The bowl of water will increase the humidity level inside the dark closet.
  • In about four weeks the bracts will begin to turn red. Continue the nighttime darkness routine for four more weeks until plant reaches its full red color. And that’s how to make poinsettias turn red

Let’s sum up how to get a poinsettia to turn red in the quick Q and A:

How long does a poinsettia plant live?

The lifespan of a poinsettia depends on what you are referring to and how you take care of it.

The colorful bracts will last 4-6 weeks, but the plant itself can live for many years with proper care.

How many hours of sunlight does a poinsettia need?

Your poinsettia needs about 8 hours of sunlight. When your want the poinsettia to bloom, start following the darkness routine mentioned above.

When should I repot my poinsettia?

Re-pot in early June into a larger pot, but make sure the new pot is no more than four inches wider than the original pot. Use a potting mix high in organic matter, such as peat moss.

Potted poinsettias can be placed outdoors during the summer months. They look great bunched together in a wheelbarrow garden. In frost-free zones, plants can be transplanted into the garden.

How big do poinsettias get?

Poinsettias can grow to be the size of a small tree, reaching 16 feet in height and 6-8 feet in width. That’s in warm climates like southern Mexico where the plant originates. Your poinsettia probably won’t grow as large. Pruning will keep it the desired size.

When should a poinsettia be cut back?

See the “how to keep a poinsettia from year to year” section above. When the plant loses its leaves, it is time to cut it back.

Why are all the leaves falling off my poinsettia?

That’s the plant’s natural cycle. The leaves fall off after the flowers bloom. Just cut the plant back and new leaves will emerge.

Have you tried to care for a poinsettia year round and get it to turn red again? How did it go?

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Hannah O’Leary poinsettia.jpg

Get a poinsettia back to red in time for the holidays by keeping it in the dark.

(Hannah O’Leary)

Holding onto poinsettias after the holidays is good for the pocketbook but hard on the ego when you can’t get them to color up the next year.

To get you through the grief, Ross Penhallegon, a horticulturist with Oregon State University, gives the gift of good advice.

Now’s the time to start coaxing poinsettias back into color and bloom for December. Sensitive to day length, the poinsettia needs a certain minimum amount of darkness each 24-hour period to stimulate blooming in the winter. With the shorter fall and winter days in Oregon, the plant has a natural tendency to bloom in spring, when there are about equal amounts of dark and light.

If the plants are exposed to lights inside the home, they won’t receive enough darkness to start blooming and could stay green through winter.

To make a poinsettia bloom in early winter, indoor gardeners simply need to adjust the amount of light and darkness to “fool” the plant, Penhallegon said.
In mid- to late October place your poinsettias in a completely dark area from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily until red color starts to develop on the flowers or “bracts.”

“This can take quite a while,” Penhallegon said. “People often forget to cover the plant one or two nights. Interrupting the darkness by even a few minutes may cause failure of the coloring.”

Bring the plant to ordinary light after the bracts show color. You may have better luck if the bracts are almost fully expanded before bringing the plant out. Once the plant has large, colored bracts, the artificial light inside a house will not inhibit a poinsettia’s blooms.

Penhallegon offered a general timeline for “coloring” the poinsettia:

  • Mid- to late October – Begin giving poinsettias long nights (darkness from 5 p.m. to 8 a.m.). Cover with a cardboard box or black plastic bag or place it in a dark closet.
  • Mid-November – Color should be showing in the bracts.
  • Early December – Bract color should be almost complete. Plant can be brought out into ordinary light.
  • December until February – During this “forced” bloom, keep the temperature between 60 and 70 degrees. Poinsettias are particularly susceptible to cold.
  • Let the plant receive as much sunlight as possible during the day. Water regularly and thoroughly.

Throughout winter, fertilize once a week with a water-soluble fertilizer at half strength or less. Over-fertilization will cause the leaves to drop. Keep plant away from hot or cold drafts. Leaves may wilt if the plant is too dry, too wet or exposed to a draft. Never allow a plant to stand in water.
Yellowing of foliage may indicate insufficient light, over-watering or lack of nitrogen. Generally, a slight correction of the environment will correct any of these symptoms.
After blooming, the plant’s bracts and leaves will begin to fall naturally. Discontinue fertilizing and reduce watering. Cut the plant back to 6 inches. Water only enough to prevent the stem from shriveling. When summer rolls around, repot the poinsettia if necessary.
When you see new growth, start watering regularly and feed every two weeks with a balanced (the three numbers on the label are the same) fertilizer. Pinch back stems as they grow to encourage branching. Grow it outdoors or as a houseplant. If grown outdoors, be sure to check for insect pests and treat if needed. Next autumn, start the cycle again.
— Kym Pokorny
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halfietruths

the beautiful Brahma Kamal blooming in the dark

As you may know, I adore flowers!! But did you know that there are at least 10 beautiful flowers that only bloom at night? The Brahma Kamal is my favorite of these flowers and it only blooms once a year, at night. Some of you may know from my following me on IG or by reading my blog Halfietruths that not only beautiful things happen to me and that I’m not always full of light and positive, although I try really hard to be! I’m human, I have melt downs at food trucks, even in somewhere as beautiful as Hawaii! And I’ve had some rough and really dark moments in the past 2+ years…which brings me back to my Brahma Kamal. Sometimes, in the dark, is when something really beautiful is happening to you. You just can’t see it because you are surrounded by darkness, sometimes even consumed by it. Be patient my luvvs and rest assured that even beautiful things bloom in the dark.

me blooming in the dark:)

xok

10 Lovely Flowers Which Bloom Only at Night

via smashinglists.com

10. Evening Primrose

Evening Primrose (Botanical name: Oenothera biennis) is a plant from Onagraceae famiy origionaly indigenous to North America, but is now found in Europe, Asia, New Zealand and Australia too. The beautiful yellow flowered is named Evening Primrose because the flower blossoms only at night. The plant is famous medically. It’s seeds, leaves, oil of the seeds and root are used in medicines. Night-time insects like nocturnal sphinx moth pollinate these plants. The plant grows between 3 and 5 feet tall. The flowers are between 0.78 to 2 inches.

9. Night Bloom Water Lilies

This tropical night-bloomer flower can never go unnoticed in any pond. This is a water lily deep crimson red or pink or purple in color. It blossoms in the evening twilight. This beautiful bright flower floating in water looks most mysterious against a dark background. The tropical lilies are larger than the hardy lilies and in most cases, the colors are more intense than the hardy lilies. The flowers are 7” – 10” in size. Each flower has 19 – 20 petals and a faint but pungent smell.

8. Moon Flowers

Moon flowers (Botanical name: Ipomoea) are called moon flowers because they bloom in moonlight. These are beautiful pink or white flowers. The flowers quickly open at night and last the entire night. They close when the sunlight touches their petals. The plant has a height of up to 15 feet. The propagation is by seed. The flower should by planted when the moon is new or increasing.

7. Night Gladiolus

The beautiful Night Gladiolus(Botanical name: Gladiolus Tristis ) is a creamy yellow flower with a very nice spicy fragrance. It is usually grown in dense areas with heavy rainfall. These are also found near sea level to high elevations. Usual height is 36 to 48 inches. The bloom in late spring and early to mid summers. It’s name comprises of two words; Night and Gladiolus. Gladiolus is a word of Latin origin meaning sword. Parts of this plant are poisonous and can cause skin irritations and allergic reactions. The plant is attractive to butterflies, bees and insects.

6. Casablanca Lily

The Casablanca Lily is a very expensive and fragrant flower used in perfumes and weddings. It is a part of Lilium Genus which has more than 110 species. The flower has 6 petals and the colors vary from white, yellow, orange and purple to pink. If all types are planted, the garden will look like a splash of colors from the color palette of a painter. The flower is elegant, delicate and has an excellent fragrance.

5. Nottingham Catchfly

Nottingham is a white wildflower with a pink tint and hairy leaves. It’s heavy fragrance fills the evening air. It is attractive to night-flying insects and moths. The walls of Nottingham Castle were once covered with these beautiful flowers and so they got their name. These flowers were destroyed during construction and renovation works of the castle in the 19th century. Nottingham catchfly has narrow and lance-shaped stem and spoon-shaped lower leaves.

4. Four O’ Clocks

These beautiful night blooming flowers are tender perennial. They bloom in spring and summers. These flowers are available in a number of colors ranging from red, yellow, pink and blue to white. The need full sun exposure to grow and start blooming at 4 pm hence got their name. They make excellent hedges and barriers. They have an outstanding fragrance when open.

3. Saussurea Obvallata / Brahma Kamal

Saussurea Obvallata is also known as Brahma Kamal. It is a beautiful night blooming flower named after the Hindu god Brahma. It is native to China, India and Burma. It blooms once a year at night time and has many medical uses. The flower grows in mountains and cold areas. The flower heads are actually purple and are enclosed in layers of greenish-yellow boat-shaped cover papery in nature.

2. Dragon Fruit Flowers

Dragon Fruit is native to Mexico and Central and South America. The fruit is also cultivated in Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam and Malaysia. They are also produced in Taiwan, Israel and southern China. It’s plant has beautiful flowers which bloom at night. The start blooming at 7 pm and reach full bloom at 12 am. The beautiful big flowers give bloom against the green leaves, dark black background and along with the fruit and give a magnificent look. The start blooming in October and continue blooming till May.

1. Dutchman’s Pipe Cactus

Epiphyllum Oxypetalum or Dutchman’s-Pipe Cactus, is a large floral variety of cactus native from Mexico to Brazil. Plant can grow as tall as 20 feet (6.1 m) in height. It’s branches are dark green and it requires moist soil. It grows in late spring and early summer, somewhere around May 30th. It blooms for only 1-2 days. Individual flowers can be up to 11 inches (27.9 cm) long and 5 inches (12.7 cm) wide. It opens as the sun goes down. It has a very deep and fresh fragrance which spreads as soon as it blooms.

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‘I’ve heard that if I put my poinsettia in the closet, that will make it bloom for Christmas’

Well, it’s true that if your poinsettia spends a bit of time in a dark closet, it begins its miraculous transformation from a plant that is completely green to one that is brilliantly coloured. But striking the correct balance between darkness and light is the key. Too little darkness and your poinsettia will remain completely green, but too much darkness and it be reminiscent of Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree.

Yes, I know that the vast majority of people can’t be bothered keeping their poinsettias year round, let alone try to coerce them to bloom for Christmas. Buying a beautiful poinsettia is whole lot easier. But for those intrepid few amongst us who just love the challenge of transforming a green poinsettia into one that is red, white, or all the colours in between, here is the information you need for blooming success.

A bit of science

Plants like poinsettias are known as ‘obligate short day’ plants. What that means is poinsettias must have a minimum number of continuous short days (or long nights) before they are capable of flowering. Nights that are longer than about 12 hours trigger the transformation of poinsettias from entirely leafy green plants into those that are adorned with beautiful flowers.

One long night is insufficient to trigger blooming, but about 14 consecutive long nights will do the trick. Keep in mind that during this ‘blackout’ period any errant night lighting, of sufficient intensity, can mess up a poinsettia’s biological clock and prevent the flower transformation. Something as innocent as turning on a light at night for 10 or 15 minutes can be enough to disrupt the blackout period and prevent flowering.

A number of years ago, I remember fumbling around our poinsettia-filled greenhouses during the critical blackout period, because of a problem with a gas heater. I knew that I couldn’t flip on the lights, so I used a penlight to find my way around. I solved the heating problem, but I managed to trip and fall onto a few large pots of what were destined to be gorgeous pink, variegated poinsettias. Let me just say that while they didn’t make it to the sales table, they were surprisingly effective at breaking my fall.

What should you do?

Now, if you don’t have closet space for your poinsettia, covering the plant with a cardboard box will do. Just make sure that you don’t pull off the box during the critical two weeks of uninterrupted darkness. Also, remember that poinsettias need plenty of sunlight during the day to produce robust healthy leaves. I’ve talked to a number of people who have misunderstood the darkness thing and left their poinsettias in a closet or under a box both day and night. In these cases, the poinsettia will change colour, but the transformation is always from a green plant to one that is solid brown.

Now, if you have done everything correctly with respect to the blackout period and your poinsettia still isn’t blooming, there are really only two other things that could have gone wrong. One is high evening temperatures and the other is too little light during the day. Warm nights that are somewhere north of 24 degrees Celsius will prevent the development of rich pigments in the bracts (the coloured leaves that we often refer to as flowers). Secondly, if you place your poinsettia in a room that is poorly lit during the day the pigments will fail to develop properly, and the bracts either won’t colour up at all or look insipid at best.

Of course, some people provide no formal blackout period for their poinsettias at all, and the plants still bloom beautifully. In these cases, either the poinsettias weren’t subjected to night lighting at all during the critical blackout period, or the night lights simply weren’t powerful enough to prevent flowering.

In our greenhouses, we start the blackout period in late September for mid-November blooming. At home, if you start the blackout period right now, your poinsettias should be in full colour by mid-December.

I love walking into the greenhouses at this time of year and watching the sea of green poinsettias slowly transform into a sea of red. And I must admit that I’m always a bit anxious until I see that first trace of colour. Completely green poinsettias are a really tough sell at Christmas.

Jim Hole is the owner of Hole’s Greenouses in St. Albert and a certified professional horticulturist with the American Society for Horticultural Science.

No Flowers On A Plant: Why A Plant Does Not Bloom

Getting a plant to flower can sometimes seem like a daunting task. If you find that you have no flowers on a plant, the cause is usually related to a number of issues that include anything from a plant’s age to environmental and cultural factors, as well as poor pruning methods. When a plant does not bloom, this normally indicates that there are other issues causing problems.

Common Reasons Why a Plant Does Not Bloom

There are numerous reasons why plants may not flower. Here are the most common reasons for non-flowering in plants:

Age – In many cases, a plant is simply too young to bloom. In fact, it can oftentimes take up to two or three years for some plants to mature, and others may take even longer to bloom. Flowering can also be altered on grafted plants, depending on the age and type of rootstock used. In addition, some plants, like many fruit trees, only flower every other year.

Environmental/Cultural issues – Sometimes when you have plants not flowering, it’s due to environmental or cultural issues. For instance, light can play a huge factor in whether or not a plant will bloom. Some plants, like poinsettia, require prolonged periods of darkness to induce flowering. Most, however, need at least six to eight hours of sunlight before blooming takes place.

Temperature – Temperature also affects blooming. Low temperatures can quickly damage or kill flower buds, resulting in no flowers on a plant. In some cases though, a plant needs to go through a cold period to provoke flowering. This is true of many spring-flowering bulbs, such as tulips. In addition, the bloom cycle can be disrupted by extremes in temperature, moisture levels, humidity, and winds.

Poor pollination – A lack of adequate pollinators can inhibit both flower and fruit production. Oftentimes, weather can be a factor here, as windy, cold, or wet weather can limit bee activity resulting in poor pollination. Hand pollinating plants can help as can encouraging additional pollinators to the area.

Nutrient imbalance – Too much nitrogen can result in lush, green growth but too much can also reduce flowering. Too little phosphorus can also be the cause for plants not flowering.

Improper pruning – Pruning is another factor. If not pruned correctly or at the appropriate time, especially with plants that bloom on new wood, flowering can significantly be reduced.

Getting a Plant to Flower

While we cannot control things like age or weather, we can fix factors such as light, fertilizer, and pruning.

For example, if your plant is not blooming because it is not getting enough light, you can simply move it to a more appropriate location.

If too much nitrogen is to blame, back off fertilizing and wash away excess nitrogen by soaking the plant with water. Then resume fertilizing with a bloom-boosting fertilizer that increases phosphorus.

Learning how and when to prune plants will not only keep them healthy and attractive but will also prevent bud formation from being disturbed.

While it can no doubt be disconcerting when a plant is not blooming, a little patience may be in order, especially when Mother Nature is to blame. Otherwise, becoming familiar with the most common causes that inhibit flowering can help with alleviating any future problems.

It gets all the votes at Christmas for its bracts and foliage match the colors of the party: red and green.

But poinsettia also comes in many other hues and can hold its rank in decorating our homes all year round!

Poinsettia, or “Christmas star”, invades garden stores like gremlins when the end-of-year feasts come nigh. It owes this to its colored bracts that surround the flowers. Red bracts are most common, but there are cultivars that are pink, salmon orange, yellow, cream, white, mottled, all with bright green leaves in the background.

Poinsettia grows in the wild in Mexico where it easily caps off at six feet (two meters) tall. In more temperate climates, it grows much smaller, even sometimes dwarfish, which is ideal to decorate tables.

Don’t throw your poinsettia away!

Too often, poinsettia has a sad fate once the party is over… and ends up in the trash (or, slightly better, the compost pile…)! After the blooming, simply place it in a cool room and give it water at regular intervals. At the end of spring, reduce watering. When the leaves start falling off, the plant is entering its dormant phase. When this occurs, let the soil dry up completely for a month. At the end of this phase, cut it back quite short, 4 inches (10 cm), and water to trigger the vegetation phase. Place it then in a warm spot.

Poinsettia appreciates surrounding temperature between 60 and 74°F (15 and 23°C) while avoiding hot, dry air and drafts. Proper moisture must be ensured (immerse the pot in water at room temperature, without ever letting water accumulate in the saucer) and a lot of light. You can bring the plant outdoors between May and September and feed it fertilizer over the summer.

How to make poinsettia red again

The challenge is to make the poinsettia bracts turn red again for the second Christmas in a row! These colored leaves only appear during days with the shortest daylight hours. To make them turn red, you need to restrain exposure to light. As early as September, place it in a room that is exclusively lit up by natural light, and check that it stays in complete darkness for 14 hours on a 24 hour day. Do this for eight weeks!

Another solution is to stash your plant in a closet every day from 6 pm till 8 am the next morning… or cover it with a carton box for that span of time. Once the eight weeks are over, treat your poinsettia normally again. At night, let it sleep at a temperature of 60 to 65°F (15 to 18°C). And it will flower again – hopefully! – at Christmas.

  • Gardening: tips and guidance on caring for poinsettia

Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Red poinsettia growing in a pot by Andreas Lischka under license
Pink poinsettia blooms by Peggy und Marco Lachmann-Anke under license

Many people receive plants for Christmas, but are not sure how to care for them. Three varieties that are often given as presents are the ever-popular, but most frequently killed, Poinsettia, the “kinda boring after they flower” Amaryllis, and the “How do I get this thing to bloom again?” Christmas Cactus.

Each of these plants requires a rest period or special growing conditions to stimulate new flowers. They also require a little extra care over most other houseplants.

If you are like me, however, you are always ready for a challenge when it comes to making something grow where it shouldn’t.

The Poinsettia is most often associated with Christmas. Thousands are sold every year and, like so many goldfish, thousands end up in the trash can by the middle of January. Keeping a Poinsettia alive until next year may not be worth the effort, since a new one does not cost that much. Another reason is that they never look as good the second year as a new one that you can purchase the next year.

The red or white ‘flowers’ of a poinsettia are not really flowers, but colored leaves.

The red or white ‘flowers’ of a poinsettia are not really flowers, but colored leaves. The actual flowers are the small growths in the middle of the clusters (or bracts) of colored leaves. Some varieties of poinsettias will stay active all winter, where others will begin to fade quickly.

To keep your Poinsettia through next season, try these steps.

  • Keep the plant in an area where it will receive bright light and temperatures between 60° and 75°.
  • Keep it well watered, but not soggy. (Use the finger-poking method, described in Winter Indoor Plant Care Tips.)
  • Fertilize it with a 10-10-10 fertilizer every two weeks during the winter months.
  • As the bracts start to fade and fall, move the plant to a location where it receives indirect light and temperatures of 55° to 60°. Cut the plant back to around 5” from the soil level and repot it with fresh soil. Water infrequently during this time. Give the plant just enough water to keep the stems from shriveling.
  • Watch for new growth and then move it back to a well-lighted location.
  • In the late spring, after the danger of frost has passed, place the pot in a partially shaded area outside.
  • For a fuller plant, pinch back the new growth to encourage branching.
  • After Labor Day, stop pinching and bring the plant indoors. Place it back in a sunny location with evening temperatures of about 65°.
  • Now comes the bothersome part. Poinsettias only ‘bloom’ during short days, so place the plant in total darkness for 12 hours each day. This can be accomplished by moving the plant to a dark closet or by placing a lightproof box over the poinsettia each day. Be sure to keep it in a sunny location during the day and water on a regular basis.

By following these directions, your poinsettia should be in ‘full bloom’ for next Christmas. As I said, I will keep you informed on the progress of my two poinsettias and hope you do the same for me.

Amaryllis plants have blooms of many colors.

Amaryllis is another Christmas favorite. To keep it around for years to come only requires you to keep it growing after it blooms. This is another plant that requires a lot of bright sun to do well. Amaryllis success depends on these steps:

  • Water on a regular basis, even after the flowers fade.
  • Once it warms up and frost is no longer a danger, move it outdoors to a semi-shaded location.
  • In the fall, bring the pot back indoors and allow the leaves to die by withholding water. Then store the pot in a cool, dark spot to ‘rest’.
  • Around the beginning of November, bring the plant back into a sunny location. Water on a regular basis and new growth will begin shortly.

Amaryllis plants have blooms of many colors. It is a relatively easy plant to care for, so brighten your interiorscape with several different varieties.

As with the Poinsettia and Amaryllis, the Christmas Cactus requires a ‘rest’ period.

The Christmas Cactus has become very popular and the blooms have a variety of colors.

Controlling temperature and the amount of sunlight is critical to the development of new blooms. The most active growth period is from April until September, but they do not like a lot of bright sunlight during this time. Too much direct sun during the summer months can cause the leaves to yellow, or fall off. A bright location without direct sun is best during the summer. Water and fertilize it on a regular basis during this period.

As with the Poinsettia and Amaryllis, the Christmas Cactus requires a ‘rest’ period. From mid-September until mid-November, water infrequently and keep it out of direct sunlight. Then, start to increase the watering and move the plant to a sunny location.

Christmas Cactus requires less water during the winter, but they do enjoy the bright winter sun. They also flower better when slightly pot-bound. If it does need repotting, do so during the winter months, but after it flowers.

General Care

Keeping your entire landscape healthy and beautiful doesn’t have to be hard work. Spring-Green helps you out with our professional lawn care services. Make sure that your yard and lawn area looks as good as your new poinsettias with help from your local Spring-Green franchise.

Learn more about…

Roses

Squirrel Problems

Indoor Plant Care

10 of the best plants for autumn colour

Choose the right plants, and autumn can be a spectacular time in the garden.

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Many deciduous trees, shrubs and climbers put on a beautiful show before their leaves fall, and there are hips, berries and fruits to enjoy, too. Plus, of course, there are plenty of flowers to keep the colour going.

Browse our suggestions for 10 unusual autumn shrubs.

Discover 10 spectacular plants for autumn colour, below – add some of these beauties in your garden for a wonderful autumn display.

Top 10 plants for autumn colour

1

Snowy mespilus

Amelanchier lamarckii is beautiful, small tree that is attractive in all seasons. In March the branches have star-shaped flowers, just as the coppery pink young leaves unfold. In July the tree is studded with dark red berries. In autumn, the yellowish green leaves turn scarlet and crimson.

Sunlight shining through coppery-pink and pale-yellow foliage of snowy mespilus 2

Aster

Most asters (now called Symphyotrichum) flower in late summer and autumn, bringing welcome late colour to borders. Symphyotrichum ‘Little Carlow’ is one of the best, producing vibrant, light purple flowers. Plant in a sunny, airy position to ensure maximum flowering. After flowering, cut back hard. Discover more autumn-flowering perennials.

A pale-purple flower of aster ‘Little Carlow’ 3

Beauty berry

Known as the beauty berry, Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii ‘Profusion’ produces large clusters of stunning and unusual purple berries in mid-autumn, overlapping with the golden purple leaf tints and then lingering after leaf-fall. Discover more shrubs that look good in autumn.

Vivid-purple berries and golden foliage of beauty berry 4

Judas tree

Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ is a multi-stemmed tree with purple, heart-shaped leaves which turn a dramatic yellow in autumn. Its deep crimson, pink or sometimes white pea-like flowers give a dramatic spring display before new leaves appear.

Heart-shaped russet leaves of the Judas tree 5

Autumn crocus

Autumn crocuses (Colchicum) flower in September and October. The large blooms suddenly appear from bare earth without any leaves – hence the common name, naked ladies. Colchicum ‘Waterlily’ has striking, double flowers with pinkish purple petals. Watch our video guide to growing colchicums.

Pink-purple, double flowers of crocus ‘Waterlily’ 6

Cotoneaster

Cotoneasters give beautiful displays of red berries in autumn. Cotoneaster horizontalis is popular for the characteristic herringbone pattern of its stems, which makes it useful trained across the ground or on a wall.

Red berries and tiny evergreen leaves of cotoneaster 7

Crab apple

With colourful fruits and foliage, crab apples look wonderful in autumn. Malus ‘Evereste’ is flushed with red-flushed, orange-yellow fruits in autumn that complement the orange-yellow leaves. It is an excellent tree for smaller gardens, with a pleasant conical shape.

Rosy fruit and yellow leaves of crab apple ‘Evereste’ 8

Nerine

Most nerines are tender greenhouse bulbs, but Nerine bowdenii can be grown outdoors in a warm, sunny border backed by the shelter of a wall. They will reward you with a late display of lipstick-pink flowers. Discover more autumn-flowering bulbs.

Showy pink nerine blooms 9

Virginia creeper

Parthenocissus henryana, Chinese Virginia creeper, is less vigorous than other varieties and can be useful for a north-facing wall in a small garden. Its foliage is more delicate as well, with a velvety texture and silvery-white veins; it turns a fiery crimson in autumn.

Coppery leaves of Virginia creeper 10

Sternbergia lutea

Sternbergia lutea are autumn-flowering bulbs that come from Greece and the eastern Mediterranean, where they are baked in the hot dry summer weather. Plant them in a warm sunny spot, ideally near a warm wall, and shield them from winter weather. Give them good drainage, too.

Advertisement Bright-yellow flowers of Sternbergia lutea Bright-red, deeply-serrated leaves of acer ‘Dissectum Atropurpureum’

More plants for autumn colour

  • Acers put on a spectacular show in autumn – discover 10 acers to grow.
  • Dahlias will continue to flower until the first frosts, if regularly deadheaded and fed.
  • Cornus put on a spectacular show before their leaves fall to reveal colourful winter stems
  • Euonymus europaeus turns a spectacular shade of red before the leaves fall.
  • Euonymus alatus also turns a beautiful crimson in autumn.
  • Chrysanthemums flower well into autumn and are excellent for cutting.
  • Ornamental grasses are at their best in autumn, and combine well with all kinds of perennials and shrubs.
  • Japanese anemones flower well into autumn, in shades of pink and white.
  • Sedums (now called Hylotelephium) look great in autumn and their flat flowerheads contrast well with more upright forms.

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